you wish to join our club (and new members are very welcome)
you can now download an application form from here.
The form is in Microsoft Word format so should be readily
viewable. The forms will also be available per the usual
on any image will give an enlarged version (maximum 640
x 480 pixels approximately). Higher resolution images
are available on request (subject to the copyright holder's
agreement) - contact John for details.
Have the following from Kevin Findlater MBE, SOC Dumfries
a magnificent 1600 acre ice-carved valley in the Moffat
Hills and at the Dumfries Branch of Scotland's Bird Club
on 11th March here is your chance to hear all about
the wild birds associated with this bold initiative in
ecological restoration. The project was set up to demonstrate
that in a world awash with problems, we need not sit back
and wring our hands."
venue is Cumberland St Day Centre, Dumfries (off Brooms
Rd Car Park), DG1 2JX and the time is 7.30pm.
Full details at http://www.the-soc.org.uk/whats-on/local-branches-2/dumfries/
Ron Lewis-Smith -
last seen my first brambling this winter - in fact a tight
flock of at least 200 on the ground and in large
oak and beech trees on the Alton Motte, and vicinity,
from c. 10-10.30 am today during flurries of snow.
This is by far the biggest sighting we have heard of
February 2015 - A
change of program for the March meeting
Our scheduled speaker has unfortunately had to cancel.
However, all is not lost as Bobby Smith has stepped
into the breach. Although we don't have his topic yet,
it will no doubt be just as interesting as his previous
presentations. See you there!
just received two annual reports from Andy Riches. The
first is for Castle
Loch & Hightae LNRs 2014.
second is the County
Mammal Report for 2014.
Andy adds the following comment regarding the latter -
You will have noticed that the Roe Deer distribution map
for 2014 shows a substantial reduction in distribution
from that of 2013. This is almost certainly not a true
reduction in distribution but a lack of records. It is
crucial to remember that the maps reflect records received
and there may well be areas and species that are heavily
under recorded. Under recording is a particular problem
with common species such as the Roe Deer or the Rabbit.
Now you know what I am looking for to include in
the 2015 report! "
European Tree of the Year
a message from Jonathan Pinnick, one of the team that
works for the Scottish Wildlife Trust at Loch of the Lowes
am part of the small team that works for the Scottish
Wildlife Trust at Loch of the Lowes, home to Ladys
Tree which was named Scottish Tree of the Year back
in October, just ahead of your Gowk Tree another
very worthy contender.
As you may be aware voting opened this week for European
Tree of the Year for 2015 with Ladys Tree
representing Scotland. Competition between the 14 countries
represented has been fierce so far and we currently trail
the leading contenders by some thousands of votes.
Therefore I am writing to ask whether you would be able
to encourage your members to vote in support of Ladys
There is no
postal vote this time, only on-line. The following link
will take you to the entry page.
The entry form is on the right of the page, you may have
to scroll over to see it..
Latest update from Iain -
Very little to report from the start of the year. Local
shooters reported seeing very few Woodcock in our area
but lots of Wood Pigeon feeding on Beech mast. Very few
winter birds around such as Redwing, Fieldfare, Brambling
and Waxwing. A lack of Tawny Owls being heard? Anybody
heard a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker? Only sightings
I have are a Golden Eagle over Moffat on the 13th and
a flock of 42 Brambling at Millhousebridge from Garry
Tait. At the Community Reserve lochan on the 14th were
5 Mute Swan and a Pink Footed Goose. Garry saw three Black
Grouse near Tweedshaws on the 16th. Hopefully the remainder
of Winter and the return of Spring will bring some more
And some reports from Dave Bradshaw -
18/01/15 - 1 Brambling with Chaffinch Beattock country
park, still 1 juv Mute Swan on lake with 2 Adults. They
seem to have distanced themselves from it. Other 7 have
left. 2 Bullfinches outside in trees by railway bridge.
21/01/15 - Leadhills road 2 female Kestrels, 1 Red Grouse.
28/01/15 - Siskin numbers are building up here in Cornal
Court, usually peak late March, early April. There has
been a flock of about 15 Goldfinches since before Xmas.
This morning 3 Bullfinches on the trees dropping on to
the grass alongside the garages to feed. Also a Treecreeper.
My feeder and gardent his morning at one time had 13 Goldfinch,
5 Siskin, 5 House Sparrow and 8 Chaffinch. At the reserve
yesterday a pair of Mute swan. 2 Dippers at Beattock bridge,
1 at Station Park bridge. 170 Pinkfeet over the co op.
And John adds - was complaining to Iain on Wednesday that
hadn't heard any Tawnies for months only to hear one calling
that evening! Blue Tits are scouting nest boxes and House
Sparrows inspecting the spaces under roof edges around
Greenwood Close so spring must be on its way.
Here we are with another year and with little
to report! Our usual winter visitors have been few and
far between this season, a few small flocks of Redwing,
likewise of Fieldfare, only an occasional sighting of
Brambling and no further reports of Waxwing since November.
It looks like most of us have has a distinct drop in the
number of birds coming into our gardens, they must still
be finding plenty of 'natural' food and prefer that to
our offerings. Numbers have gone up on the few hard days
we've had, only to drop off again as soon as the frosts
have lifted. There is no cause for concern, the bird population
is as healthy as it ever was. John's garden is renowned
for the lack of birds in wet weather and last week saw
a record low - Blackbird and Chaffinch only and only a
few of each - offset by a more normal 6-8 types of bird
in much greater numbers the following day.
bits of information from elsewhere. The first is from Any
is to let you know that Scottish Badgers will be running
a Level 1 Registered Badger Worker Course in Dumfries
& Galloway this autumn.
The purpose of the Registered Badger Worker Training
Scheme is to build a network of surveyors certified
as competent to undertake specific tasks as identified
by Scottish Badgers. Inclusion on the Register is a
nationally recognised qualification.
The course costs £120.00 which includes a comprehensive
training manual, classroom and field-based training,
personal tutoring, assessment fees and completion certificate.
Full details of the course and an application form are
attached but if you have any queries please do not hesitate
to contact me."
(We haven't been able to put the details/application
form on-line but, if you contact John, we can forward
it on request or put you in touch with Andy.)
second is from Neighbourhood Watch regarding a scam -
and Broadband Phone Scam
We've had recent reports of scammers
phoning pretending to be from Sky Television and Broadband
so please make sure friends and family are aware. Sky
have confirmed that this is not a genuine call.
The scammers attempt to appear authentic by asking for
you by name and stating that "our information"
shows you pay by direct debit. The scam involves claiming
that your Sky viewing card is about to expire and that
they need some information in order to send you a new
one. They then proceed to ask for your sort code before
then asking for the last four digits of your account
number. Like many scammers they may get pushy when not
given this information.
This call is then followed up by a second call where
they claim you have overpaid and that they wish to refund
you. It is at this point that they ask for the rest
of your bank details.
A Sky Spokesperson said
"We would never contact a customer to request payment
over the phone for a replacement viewing card.
If you are due a credit on your account its very
unusual for us to ask for your bank details over the
phone, if you are suspicious at all please hang up and
call us on 03442 414141. "
If you've received this scam call or a similar one and
given over account details you should contact your bank
immediately. If you received such a call and didn't
give over details, it would be helpful if you could
report the incident to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
The reason these scams work is that they contact thousands
of people and so, purely by coincidence, a few of these
people will not only have a Sky account but may have
recently completed a transaction with Sky and so will
be expecting such a call.
If you receive this or another suspicious phone call...
Remember, you do not have to get into discussions
over the phone with anyone, and never give out any personal
information, such as bank or credit card details. These
could be used fraudulently.
Keep your business, your business. Just say "No
thank you, I am not interested" and hang up straight
To find out more about True Call the call blocking
device tested by Trading Standards, which stops 99%
of nuisance calls visit http://www.truecall.co.uk
Also remember ... No genuine lottery or competition
would ask you to buy goods or send money to claim a
entries for 2014 have been archived. View by clicking
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